Going digital is a top priority for credit unions as they strive to serve their members in the most convenient ways possible. But what does digitization look like for corporate credit unions?
Similar to what some countries refer to as “central” credit unions, corporate credit unions are non-profit cooperative financial institutions formed to assist traditional consumer-based credit unions with services like balance sheet management and investments, payment processing and now—digital transformation.
Here at Vizo Financial Corporate Credit Union, we sought to find out what type of digital journey would best help our 1,200 U.S. and Canadian member credit unions to develop their own digitization efforts.
Most importantly, we approached the digitization of our services with this philosophy: modern banking requires that credit union members should have the ability to independently manage their financial lives through digital means that are simple and intuitive. That led us to develop a digital strategy with four key considerations: access, faster payments, security and cost.
Access. Our digital strategy begins with the old adage “practice what you preach.” In that spirit, we’ve created a completely digital platform where our credit unions interact directly with our corporate office through our online member access network, Zephyr. This is a place where institutions can conduct a number of business transactions, from collecting ACH files to performing balance reporting. In recent months, we’ve enhanced the digital Zephyr experience further with live chat and browsing support, which allows users to connect to a member services representative from within their Zephyr session.
Faster payments. This is the new norm. In a digital presentation, we see this in the rise of person-to-person (P2P) payments. As such, we acquired partial ownership of Aptys Solutions along with Catalyst Corporate and Alloya Corporate and helped fund the development of the first-generation PayMōli P2P app. When the next release occurs in June, our credit unions will have the power to exchange funds with any entity in near real-time. PayMōli allows our credit unions to offer a P2P option that is comparable to other market alternatives without expending the time and cost of developing their own solution or using a big bank-controlled solution.
Security. In order to provide our digital services to member credit unions, Vizo Financial uses a layered approach to security. We utilize multiple methods of protection and monitoring to ensure the security of member data, all of which is backed by our diverse and talented risk team. They have been able to establish a strong security structure with consistent policies and procedures to continually evolve and improve the security posture behind the digital solutions we offer. These services are also passed along to our member credit unions to help develop their own robust security structures against digital and cyber threats through risk assessment and mitigation services.
Cost. We often find that our smaller-sized member credit unions have the desire to offer more digital services, but it can be cost prohibitive. By leveraging our ability to concentrate our member credit unions’ resources into a group buy situation, we can eliminate cost barriers and open the door to smaller institutions for more readily available access to cost-effective digital solutions.
Our goal is to help our members achieve a fully digitized presence in their communities!
This post was written by Jeff Stoner, Chief Technology and Strategy Officer for Vizo Financial Corporate Credit Union, a Sapphire-level Champion of Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions, and a participant in Worldwide Foundation’s Global Bridges program.